COVID-19 General Order allows employees to take unpaid pandemic leave, annual leave on half pay and annual leave in advance
- Created: 14 April 2020
The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (Commission) will issue a General Order under s 50 Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that allows state system employees to take unpaid pandemic leave, annual leave on half pay and annual leave in advance.
The Commission has implemented these flexible leave arrangements to assist businesses to continue to operate and to preserve employment and the continuity of employment for the benefit of those businesses, their employees and the economy generally.
The terms of the General Order will provide flexibility and leave options to be available to employees for:
- Unpaid pandemic leave of up to two weeks if the employee is required, by government or medical authorities or acting on the advice of a medical practitioner, to self-isolate or is otherwise prevented from working by measures taken by the government or medical authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Double annual leave at half pay, by agreement between the employer and employee; and
- Annual leave to be taken in advance, by agreement between the employer and employee.
These measures will operate from today until 31 July 2020 and may be extended.
The General Order will apply to all private sector employers and employees in the State system, whether covered by an award or not. State system employers generally include sole traders, partnerships, some trusts, some local government agencies and some non-for-profit organisations.
Where an award or industrial agreement contains a more beneficial term than the General Order, the award will apply. Otherwise, where there is conflict between the terms of the General Order and the award, the terms of the General Order will apply.
The Commission issued the Reasons for Decision and the Minutes of Proposed General Order at 10.00am on 14 April 2020.
The Commission has invited any submissions in writing by 2.00pm on 14 April 2020 as to whether the Minutes reflect the Reasons for Decision.
The Reasons for Decision can be read here.
The General Order can be read here.